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May 26, 2023
Friday check in: bow ties from With Strings Attached

Historian Leslie Goddard presented an engaging program about Route 66 for the final Clara Cummings Book Club luncheon of the year.   She showed photos and told stories about how the highway changed small towns from Illinois to California (gas stations, restaurants, tourist courts).   It became the popular overland route because most of it was fairly flat (south of the higher Rockies). However, it was a two-lane road that went right through the centers of towns, and in the 1950s and 1960s it was superseded by the Interstate Highway System.  Rather than get stuck in backwater obscurity many of the towns ...

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May 13, 2023
Friday check in: thrift shop deals + a finish from With Strings Attached


After an appointment yesterday morning I stopped at two thrift shops and indulged.   The stripe was a roll of quilt-weight home dec,  54" wide.  18 yards for $10!  A smaller home dec on the left, two twin flat sheets, and homespun (curtains).    Total cost:  $23. 

Washing and ironing all of it took some time. Then I finished the wall hanging.  Quilted, bound, labeled.     

Linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? Finished or Not Friday  Peacock Party   

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April 21, 2023
Friday check in: GIVEAWAY WINNER! and design considerations from With Strings Attached


I thank everyone who took time to comment on Monday's Hands2Help blog hop post.  It was inspiring to read all the stories about the ways that quilters use their passion to enrich people's lives.

 I used a random number generator to pick the giveaway winner:  KAWeed  (Though her post came as "anonymous" she included her email, per the giveaway qualifications.)   

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In the studio:  the pinwheels and square-in-squares are on the design wall.  The units are 4-1/2" unfinished.

The pattern (Gerri Robinson in McCall's Quilting) is a straight set. 

I tried on-point.  I cut setting triangles and ...

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April 7, 2023
Friday check in: blogging friends and a workshop from With Strings Attached

 The Northern Lake County Quilters Guild hosted Lynn Dykstra who is familiar to many quiltmakers from her blog Klein Meisje Quilts.  Lynn presented a trunk show at the Wednesday evening meeting and gave a workshop on Thursday.   

I've admired Lynn's work since I began reading her blog way back when she and Bonnie Hunter were among the "Quilt Mavericks."  

Two members of the McHenry County quilt guild came to sell tickets for their annual raffle.  One of them was Sue Daurio, who blogs at Sue Daurio's Quilting Adventures.  We've been meaning to meet up for several ...

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February 10, 2023
Friday check in: finished! from With Strings Attached


I finished the daisy wall hanging.  I adapted a design from a pattern in the National Quilting Assn. magazine.  20" x 20".

It will be presented to the outgoing president of the P.E.O. Lake County  Round Table in appreciation for her six years in office.  The P.E.O. flower is the marguerite, or daisy, and there were seven founders.

I've made crumb-pieced backgrounds for several projects and I like the effect.

This is one of my OMGs for February.

Linking up with  Alycia's Finished or Not Friday  and Wendy's Peacock Party  and Sarah's ...

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November 21, 2021
Friday check in: field trip! from With Strings Attached

Yesterday we headed north to see the Victoria Findlay Wolfe retrospective exhibit at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts .   

Wow!  My husband was impressed, too.  

Her grandfather and grandmother.

Her grandmother made the quilt on the lower right with polyester pieces appliqued onto a red and white sheet.  She had severe arthritis and sewing was difficult.  

A series called Red Dot. 

Left:  Is That You? 2020.  Top center: Everything But the Kitchen Sink, 2000-2009. Top right: You Are Here.  Center: Star Storm Explosion, 2021. Center right: Ignition, 2021.  Lower center: Color Study H1, 2017.  Lower right: Garden Delights ...

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November 12, 2021
Friday check in: goal accomplished and a new project from With Strings Attached


I first read "In Flanders Fields" in junior high. The powerful image has stayed with me all these years.  Take a couple of minutes to read about the inspiration  in this story

Our Rotary program (Zoom) on Thursdas was about Quilts of Valor. The presenter is a quilting friend who is an active QOV volunteer (and a veteran herself).  Rotary members were impressed.  I learned a lot more, too. 

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My OMG for November is to quilt three flimsies.  I've done that!  I showed  photo of the first on Monday.  Here are the other two.  The backings for both are ...

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October 1, 2021
Friday check in: a September finish, the stash report, and OMG October from With Strings Attached


Rabbit, rabbit!  (Here is the explanation of the good-luck legend.) 

We get our Pfizer booster shots this morning --another good luck token.

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Here's a collage of Michaelmas daisies for Michaelmas Day, September 29. (It's also Archangels Day but the other archangels don't have fall wildflowers named after them.)  

According to Wikipedia the traditional meal features goose . We're not High Church so we had chicken.  Maybe next year I'll remember to bake a version of St. Michael's bannock.  

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I quilted the tilted slab blocks. The bias I mentioned in the previous post was not a ...

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August 27, 2021
Friday check in: rummage sale quilt rescue from With Strings Attached

 Our church's summer rummage sale begins today.  I helped set up on Wednesday afternoon and will take a shift this morning.  The perk for helpers is getting to shop early and paying half price.  At previous sales I've scored some yardage -- not much, but such a bargain!  (In May I got 8 yards for $1.50 which provided the backing for Grassy Creek.)

Well, the only FABRIC this time was a fat quarter.   

But I got all of these (plus that fat quarter, plus five packages of unopened Christmas-letter paper, plus two rolls of clear Contact paper) for ...

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August 7, 2021
Friday update: design change, interrupted (RSC) from With Strings Attached

A wildflower medley at Van Patten Woods

 Barn Quilts was the topic at the Zoom quilt guild meeting on Wednesday. Suzi Parron has traveled across the country to document these bold outdoor art installations.  She says there are at least 16,000 barn quilts and the list keeps growing.  

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I made a significant design change on the wedding quilt that required  three evenings with the seam ripper.  I'll show you the details in the Weekly Update next Monday.

To keep my spirits from flagging I took a break and made and finished a quick project.  Here are the 16 ...

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June 4, 2021
Friday check in: a quilt show.....and the most beautiful fabric in the world (again) from With Strings Attached

Yesterday I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to go to the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo at the Schaumburg convention center.  The Expo has been held in the Chicago area many times. I've only been once before (when the Quilt Festival was not at Rosemont). The last time I attended an event at this venue was  in 2016.  

It appeared that for most of the attendees this was among the first major outings in our vaccinated world. Some people wore masks, some didn't. (I went back and forth.)  

The exhibits weren't extensive.  That had the benefit of not being ...

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April 30, 2021
Friday check in: success on the third try, snaps, and the stash report from With Strings Attached

I made twenty batik crumb blocks. I planned to sash them shadowbox style and auditioned some fabrics.   In addition to this purple/turquoise combo I tried a white batik but that contrast was too stark.  [Of course I am using only what I have on hand.]

Then I found a lovely soft brown/tan Indian batik (part of this gift).  I was so sure it would be ideal that I cut all the sashing. 

I wanted low-volume but it was TOO low-volume and the colorful mix of the crumbs got lost.  

I tried a third time, and here's how ...

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April 24, 2021
Friday finishes! from With Strings Attached


We revisited Greenbelt and Ray Lake Forest Preserves on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. It was sunny but cool with very little wind.  The tree swallows are establishing their nests in the nesting boxes.  The flowers are trout lilies and [a yellow flower I have to i.d.]

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In the studio:  two finished projects!

Last in, first out -- I pieced Jumbo Waffles last week. I quilted it in a simple grid using the walking foot. I pieced the four left over blocks into the back before they could be consigned to the orphan box.

(Click on the "waffle stamps" label to ...

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March 26, 2021
Friday check in: cranes, art show, and a finish from With Strings Attached

As my friend Steffi and I left the country club [see below] two sandhill cranes strode over the hill and across the sidewalk. They are making their way north to Wisconsin.  They were intent on one another and I was able to get within ten feet to snap the photos. 

GFWC-IL District 10 (General Federation of Women's Clubs-Illinois) held its annual Art Show luncheon on Wednesday.    The country club dining room was spacious and the tables were far apart.  Each table was set for six people (though the tables would ordinarily accommodate eight) so we were spaced.  It was ...

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March 19, 2021
Friday check in: elephant parade from With Strings Attached

 I was going to make simple slab borders for the elephant-block placemats. 

Then I thought I'd use a skinny strip and scrappy neutral borders.  That required piecing more scrappy neutrals. 

I didn't like the "fenced-in" effect.


If I took the fence out the elephants would be swimming in a pool of neutrals.

What to do, what to do?  

I happened to have some scrappy-batik slabs on hand.  I cut them into three-inch strips. 

I have quilted the elephants and the neutral backgrounds on all four.  I hope to finish quilting the borders today. 

(And now I have 16 ...

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March 12, 2021
Friday check in: thread source and batik stars from With Strings Attached

I am not buying fabric during Lent.  But thread is not fabric!  Someone on an online group recommended  Wawak.   A few clicks later I had an online shopping cart filled with Aurifil thread.  ** $7.95 ** per 1440-yard spool.  That's the everyday price!  The order came within a week.  I am sold!

The batik variable stars are now a flimsy. I made 36 blocks and used 32 of them. It may not look like it, but there is a color arrangement -- warm backgrounds in the center and cooler backgrounds around the perimeter.   (The four blocks I did not use were ...

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February 26, 2021
Friday check in: under the needle and a tasty treat from With Strings Attached

 Thank you for your guesses / votes about the rainbow geese layout.  Here is a sneak peek.  Come back Monday morning to see the final arrangement.    

I'm using two vintage prints for the backing, along with insert strips from a contemporary fabric.

It's Purim (last evening through this evening).   My hamantaschen get more triangular with each batch.  I have a tendency to put too much filling on each round so they lose their shape.  I used the recipe on the Solo label--essentially a short, not-very-sweet cookie (2 sticks of butter and 3/4 c sugar). 

It occurred to me ...

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February 5, 2021
Friday check in: presenting Code Name Welcome Home from With Strings Attached

Here it is!   The quilt I've  coyly called "Code Name Welcome Home" has been sent to and received by my friends B and K.  Its real name is Labyrinth Walk.  

Labyrinth Walk, 84 x 84

 The backstory: B does not sew. Not buttons, not hems, and certainly not quilts. Five years ago a picture of the Labyrinth Walk quilt popped onto her Facebook feed and she was teased about "her" quilt. It went viral--she says 40,000+ reposts--even though she clearly stated that she DID NOT MAKE the quilt. Last fall B and her husband suffered from a house ...

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January 15, 2021
Friday check in: MQG swap reveal! from With Strings Attached

It's time to reveal the results of the Mini Swap hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild -- at least, of my part in it.  Kathy C. was my swap partner.  Here's the 24" mini quilt that she sent me.   Gray and coral are two of my current favorite colors and I love batiks.  


I used batiks for "Toward the Morning," the mini I sent to Kathy. 

This was the first time I've made a flange binding. 

The triangles-in-formation design is from a stenciled frieze at Crab Tree Farm which I toured in July, 2019 .   

The colorway was inspired ...

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December 19, 2020
Friday check in: better with a border -- and on to the next project from With Strings Attached


Not only better, but also bigger.  Note that I made a new block to replace the upper left checkerboard so it's more balanced, as well. 

I came across Kim Diehl's "All in a Row" pattern as I perused the stack of Civil War-themed quilting books and the file of printouts and magazine patterns.  I printed a picture of All in a Row back in 2014 (the printout is dated). Since then I've acquired two Martingale books that feature it.  I figured that was a sign that it's high time to make my own ...

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  • can i get a whoop whoop
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